Animals have become a part of human life since they provide us with food, friendship and protection. Though not many diseases suffered by animals spread to humans, there are some exceptions of zoonotic diseases with deadly outcomes. Rats, rabbits, cats, dogs and even snakes carry diseases that can prove to be deadly to humans. Some of these diseases were known to mankind for ages whereas some of them were diagnosed only in recent years. Many confuse malaria to be a zoonotic disease though it is not. Diseases from animal can spread to humans through infected animal bites, bug that have bitten infected animals, coming in contact with animal feces or directly from the animal itself. Here is the list of top 6 diseases that spread from animals.
6. Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF)
EHF is known to be the most potent viral diseases ever to affect the human race. The virus transmits when people handle sick or dead infected wild animals like gorillas, monkeys, fruit bats, antelopes or chimpanzees. It also spreads through blood, body fluids and tissues of infected humans. Depending on the strain of the virus, the morbidity rate can be in range of 25-90 percent for clinically reported cases.
5. Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD)
KFD us a tick-borne disease that first manifested among the monkeys of Kyasanur forests killing a large number of monkeys in the region. Locally it is also known as monkey fever. The disease that affects 100-500 people every year has a morbidity rate of 2-10%. Some survivors are known to suffer the after effects of the infection permanently. The reservoir hosts for the disease are known to be monkey, rats, squirrels, mice and shrews. The nymphs of the tick bite humans to spread infection.
The deadly disease which spread around the globe like a wild fire, originated in chimps and primates of African jungles before infecting humans. HIV, which spread among humans mostly through sexual contacts, blood transfusion, sharing needles and mother to children, has affected the Sub-Saharan African region the most. The virus is present in the blood, semen, vaginal fluid, or breast milk. Apart from the suffering of the illness itself, the HIV positive people have to face stigma from the society.
Anthrax is a life-threatening deadly disease that is transmitted to humans through ruminants like cattle, sheep, goats or horses. Fortunately, this disease does not spread from infectious person to other people. In recent years, the possibility of using the anthrax causing bacterium, Bacillus Anthracis in biological warfare, has caused a lot of concern among many targeted nations. The anthrax organism is known to exist in the soil in the form of spores for nearly 48 years, which makes it difficult to eradicate this disease. Though anthrax can transmit through skin and ingestion, the most deadly infection is caused by inhaling the spores.
Plague is one of the most deadly and feared disease since ages. It has been responsible for one the most devastating pandemics known in human history. It is estimated that nearly 30-60% of Europe’s population was wiped out due to Black Death. If proper treatment is not given on time, Bubonic Plague can kill about 70% of infected people within 4 days of infection. The deadly disease is spread through enterobacteria Yersinia pestis that thrive on small fleas that live on the rodents.
Rabies is transmitted to humans from the bite of the infected animal. Rabies is often spread to humans through bite of rabid dog which is responsible for nearly 97% of rabies infection in humans. Treating the condition immediately is very important as there is no cure or treatment once the rabies virus reaches the central nervous system. The frightening aspect of the disease is and mania, hallucinations and hydrophobia suffered by the patients. The disease proves fatal within a few days of the onset of symptoms. Even with the great leap in advancement of medical science, there is an annual death rate of 55,000 due to rabies every year.